Disclaimer: I do not own BBC Sherlock.
When he was younger, his parents would take them up north to some very cold country over winter holiday, and they would ski.
Sherlock loathed skiing. He loathed the fact that Mycroft was-naturally-quite good at it. He loathed the cheery resorts they stayed at, and most of all, loathed the cold.
It wasn't London cold, which was cold, yes, but not usually bitterly. Up there, in the mountains, exposed skin was eaten alive by the frozen air.
Needless to say, he kept inside during these holidays.
But that in itself was awful, because it was so mindbendingly dull up there. He would map out the whole of the resort and only when he exhausted all other options did he venture into the cheery, plastic little town.
He recalled a time when he found himself on the mountain, bundled up in his marshmallow coat, but he couldn't remember how young he had been. He remembered that constricting feeling of jealousy-most likely directed at Mycroft-and he remembered thinking, oh, all skiing is is physics, that's easy-and the next thing, he was speeding down the slope, wind stinging his face like needles, and he was breathless and thought, this is fun.
However, the next part of the memory consisted of him hitting a hitch in the flattened snow, and falling, momentum carrying him tumbling downward.
He cried-not do to any pain, really, but more of shock (you know how little children get)-and a hand pulling him firmly up. The limb belonged to Mycroft, not his mummy or daddy, but Mycroft-who led him back into the resort, where his shrieks had died down to heavy breathing punctuated by occasional hiccuped whimpers.
There's hot chocolate and warmth now, and blinking tears out of eyes, and Mycroft looking at him over his styrofoam cup as they sat in front of a gas fireplace.
An interesting memory, he could have sworn he had deleted it.
But now the cold is creeping back in, it sits in him like deposits-in his legs and shoulders and wrists and his mind is covered by a layer of frost on a window that he can't seem to wipe away.
He becomes aware slowly, first orientating which way is up and then voices, he opens his eyes which he didn't remember closing, and above him floats the face of his doctor.
"John-" he chokes out, and is confused as sensory overload reaches a climax. The first feeling is pain in his head that is far away, like he left it in the ski lodge in some glacial country. The second feeling is also pain, but this time it's up close and personal and he gasps upon the realization of it. His side is throbbing and sears like it's on fire, and the world goes out of focus for a moment while he gags on air.
John's face swims back into focus, eyes steady but also betraying a bit of fear. "Stay with me, alright?"
I wasn't going anywhere, Sherlock thinks. He sees curls in his peripheral vision-Sergeant Donovan, then a voice asks, "How's he doing?" which belongs to Lestrade, who flits into his narrow line of sight. So, he deduces, they're out on a case. Or, were, anyway. Pursuing a suspect most likely, but he can't think straight through this haze.
A pang rocks through him as pressure shifts on his side. His eyelids flutter and someone's tapping the side of his face, "Oh, no you don't-" It's John, of course, who else, really.
"I wasn't going anywhere." His voice is quiet and oddly calm. It's not true, in fact, he would have liked nothing more to return to his spot beside the fake fireplace, where everything was warm and he could feel his extremities.
He is aware of the cold settling now, on his back which is against pavement, in his fingers and toes and limbs, cold fills them like concrete.
"Hey," his doctor says rather breathlessly. "The ambulance will be here any second now." Wrong. "You have to stay awake."
"Yeah? You okay?" Obviously not.
"I'm cold." His voice is suddenly hoarse and he coughs and goes under for a second.
"Oh, Jesus-" John swears and there's Lestrade again, shouting, "Where is the damn bus?" and Sherlock shivers, but he shouldn't move because that hurts, and his teeth chatter, rattling around his skull and shaking lose the pain he tried to keep at bay.
Something is laid over him, and he looks up and sees John, he puts two and two together and "You'll catch your death without a coat."
John actually laughs at that, "It's not my death I'm worried about," but oh god why would you say that, Sherlock is going to be fine, of course he is, of course of course of course.
At that moment there's sirens and lights and Sherlock winces and a warmth is filling in with the cold, melting down the blocks, and he sputters, "I loathe skiing," but no one seems to notice, so he lets the darkness creep over his vision, and he is still somewhat aware of what is going on, but he wishes he wasn't.
He awakes several times within the next block, sometimes he is moving-through streets or hallways or rooms-there's a period of nothing but blackness at one point and then he thinks he's sleeping, not unconscious or sedated (well, maybe a little) and the next time he opens his eyes, he's in a bed in a white washed room. There's beeping and breathing and the shifting of a chair, he looks over and there's John, eyes tired but wide with relief.
"Hey," he asks in a half-whisper. "How are you feeling?"
Tired, he wants to say. No longer cold or hot but something in between. "Lukewarm," he manages, but declines the water, because sleep is pulling him back and he embraces it.
A/N: Reviews are welcomed and appreciated, but not necessary. Thank you for reading!